Monday, 13 August 2012

Indonesia wants to modernize its military equipment to increase capabilities of the Army.

The weaponry of Indonesian armed forces (TNI) is going to be gradually modernized as the sound economy supports financing amid the higher demand for professionalism of the forces. The modernization solely aims to offset the country's long absence on improving the weaponry that would put it in one par with ASEAN peers.
 While more tasks, including in handling catastrophes and taking part in the international peace mission, as well as overcoming national threat such terrorism and transnational crimes, are waiting for the participation of the forces.

This clearly indicates that the rise of defense budget and the purchase of more Sukhoi jet fighters, tanks and other military equipment is not aimed at triggering arm race in the region.

Thank to the accelerating economic growth that has allowed to strengthen the military budget in the Southeast Asia's largest economy.

Growing investment, accelerating government spending and huge household consumption in the country with over 238 million population has pushed the country's economy to expand by more than 6 percent since 2010.

Even in the second quarter the Gross Domestic Product accelerated by 6.35 percent, the highest in the region, despite the slowing global demand on the Indonesia's export products.

The country regained the second credit rating to investment grade on Jan. 18 from Moody's, putting Indonesia on the radar of the global investors.

"We can boost weaponry because our economy has accelerated fast in the recent years so that the state budget is also strong," President Yudhoyono said.

Yudhoyono said that the government had increased defense budget to 72.54 trillion rupiah (about 7.649 billion U.S. dollars) this year from 21.7 trillion rupiah (some 2.296 billion U.S. dollars) in 2004.

"Hope our defense budget for next year can be increased to over 77 trillion rupiah (about 8.119 billion U.S. dollars)," he said..

President Yudhoyono said that Indonesian military had been long not to be modernized that it now remained far below "the minimum essential force".

In purchasing the weaponry, the president stressed that the government would not meet any conditionally required by the producer countries. Indonesia has reached a deal to buy 100 tanks Leopard 2A6 from Germany, scores of Sukhoi jet fighters from Russia and ordered three sub marines from South Korea.

 Asian Defence News

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